Woman to sue NHS for letting her have gender reassignment surgery before she was old enough to understand the implications
A woman who regrets transitioning to a man when she was a teenager, is suing the NHS for allowing her to change her gender when she was still too young to understand the implication of her actions.
Keira Bell, 23, who has since transitioned back to a female, said the gender reassignment treatment she received as a teenager was “unlawful” and left her feeling suicidal. She accused the doctors of not carrying out a proper investigation to be sure she was OK mentally when she asked to change her gender.
She accused Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust of rushing her treatment when she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. This condition made her identify as a male despite being born a biological female. As a result, the Tavistock Centre prescribed testosterone and hormone blocker drugs that delayed her puberty.
At the time she started considering transitioning, she said she had “no doubt” about it. However, she later regretted her decision.
She told Sky News: “The whole process is really traumatic looking back on it, there’s no going back from it really because you are changed forever visibly.”
She said she had used transitioning as a “coping mechanism” and accused her doctors of not carrying out a “real investigation” into her mental health.
She added: “I just realised that it (gender reassignment) hadn’t worked after a few years… I just went into like a menopause like state and everything just kind of shut down.
“I felt drained and tired and had nothing but negative effects from it really, I didn’t have a good experience with it at all.”
In the landmark case, Ms Bell’s lawyers will argue she could not give informed consent because she was a child and the risks of the treatment had not been adequately explained to her.
The case will be argued in the High Court later in 2020